Rod Serling

Rod Serling


12/25/1924, Syracuse, New York, USA



Birth Name

Edwin Rodman Serling



Also Known As

Rod Serling
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Boxer, Paratrooper, and one of the most prolific writers in the history of the medium, Rod Serling was among a handful of superlative television dramatists (which included Gore Vidal, Paddy Chayefsky, Reginald Rose, among others) who, in the early to mid-1950's, helped to usher in the 'Golden Age'…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • He received an Emmy nomination and a Writers Guild Award under the category of Best Children Script for the 2000 TV movie remake "A Storm in Summer" despite having been dead for a quarter of a century.

    • Despite Serling's legacy as a writer of science-fiction, he was the first to say it was not his forte. Although he could adapt it as he did whenever he did anything science-fiction related, his work leaned more towards fantasy and social commentary.

    • Rod was really into playing tennis and ping-pong.

    • In his youth, Rod was into sports. Despite his height, he was gifted at tennis and table-tennis.

    • His least remembered work in the very briefly-lived saga western "The Loner." This series dealt with more character and drama rather straight shoot-outs. The series recieved remarkably bad feedback from both critics and viewers. The studio insisted he make some changes, conventionalize the series. Serling refused and "The Loner" was cancelled after only one season.

    • As a child, he and his brother were big fans of science-fiction-fantasy pulp fiction magazines and radio shows. Rod himself would often re-enact the things he had seen in the car with his brother, or sometimes all by himself--doing a one-man show.

    • Rod graduated from Binghamton High School in 1943.

    • Rod was ranked number 1 in the August 1, 2004 issue of TV Guide as one of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends."

    • In 1985 Rod was nominated for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, by his wife Carol and the Sterling estate. It wasn't until October 1988 he received a star. His star is located across the street from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA.

    • In the 1930s, Rod was a member of the Binghamton Boy Scouts, Troop 36.

    • After Rod changed his major from Physical Education to English Literature and Drama, he began to try his hand at writing. As a senior, Rod won an award for a tv script he had written. Encouraged by the award, he began writing for tv and radio.

    • Ten years after Rod's death, he was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame, in 1985.

    • Rod's parents are Esther and Samuel Lawrence Serling. His brother is Robert Serling. Rod's wife is Carolyn Louise Serling. And their daughters are Anne and Jodi Serling.

    • As a Golden Gloves boxer, Rod broke his nose twice. He won 17 out 18 matches. He lost his championship fight.

    • Rod was considered to be the most honored and prolific writer in the history of tv. He won 6 Emmy's, 3 Hugo Awards, 2 Sylvania Awards, 2 Christopher Awarads, a Golden Globe, a, Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement, Television-Radio Writers' Award, Writers Guild Of America Awards, Look Magazine Television Award, and a Harcourt-Brace Award.

    • After Rod's stint in the military and World War II he received numerous accommodations. His accommodations included a World War II victory medal, an American Campaign Service medal, an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal (with Arrowhead Device), Good Conduct medal, Philippine Liberation Medal (with 1 bronze service star), Purple Heart, Combat Infantry badge, Parachutist badge, and an Honorable Service lapel pin.

    • Rod was considered to have a maverick attitude. And it eventually drove him from regular network TV. It was because The Twilight Zone featured a multitude of controversial issues such as, racism, the Cold War and paranoia, also the horrors of war.

    • At the time of his death, Rod was 5 ft, 4.

    • Rod was a communications professor at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York.

    • Rod was an outspoken supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

    • Rod was considered to be one of the radical new voices, which made the "Golden Age" of TV.

    • He tried out for quarterback of his high school football team, but was told by the coach that he was too short and too light.

    • Struggling to make ends meet, a young Serling earned extra income by testing experimental parachutes for the U.S. Army Air Force, earning $500 per jump.

    • Carol, Rod's wife, was disowned by everyone except her grandmother because her family did not approve of her marrying a Jew.

    • Serling's father, Sam Serling, died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-five. Serling was not granted leave from the military to attend his funeral.

    • He is interred at the cemetery in Interlaken, New York, a part of upstate New York.

    • He suffered two severe heart attacks before entering Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for heart bypass surgery. He had a third heart attack during the operation and died the following day.

    • He had taped introductions for a limited-run summer comedy series on ABC, Keep On Truckin', which was scheduled to begin its run several weeks after his death; these introductions were subsequently edited out of the broadcast episodes.

    • He wrote over a third of the scripts for the Night Gallery.

    • He was sued many times for plagiarism in regards to his story ideas for episodes of The Twilight Zone.

    • He co-wrote Planet of the Apes.

    • He received six Emmys. He received another a few months after his death, as a special posthumous Emmy award. Rod was the winner of more Emmys for dramatic writing than anyone in history.

    • He sold his rights to The Twilight Zone to CBS.

    • He wrote 92 episodes of The Twilight Zone.

    • In many The Twilight Zone episodes he based many of them off his own experiences.

    • He wrote scripts for Fireside Theater, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Lux Video Theater, Kraft Television Theatre, Suspense and Studio One.

    • Rod married his wife, Carol Kramer on July 31, 1948.

    • He graduated in 1950 from Antioch College with a Bachelor's degree in Literature.

    • Though he was short he had a boxing career during his time in the military.

    • Thanks to his military career he suffered from nightmares and flashbacks for the rest of his life.

    • He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

    • He was a U.S. Army paratrooper in the Philippines during World War II and demolition specialist with the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

    • Though brought up in a Jewish family, Serling became a Unitarian Universalist.

    • He has a brother named Robert J. Serling, who is a novelist and all-around writer in the field of aviation. He has written fiction books around the backdrop of the real-life Air Force One and Titanic. He has also penned numerous non-fiction tomes cataloging American Airlines, Alaskan Airlines, Northwestern and Boeing.

    • He was a chain smoker.

    • Serling has been spoofed by the famous sketch show Saturday Night Live.

    • The late Serling is hosting a 3D episode of Medium on NBC in November 2005. The introduction is reanimated using clips from The Twilight Zone.

  • Quotes

    • Rod: There is a fifth dimesion, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimesion as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is in the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.

    • Rod: (What he enjoyed about writing) I don't enjoy any of the process of writing. I enjoy it when it goes on if it zings and it has great warmth and import and it's successful. Yeah, that's when I enjoy it. But during the desperate, tough time of creating it, there's not much I enjoy about it. It tires me and lays me out, which is sort of the way I feel now. Tired.

    • Rod: Everybody has to have a hometown, Binghamton's mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive make-up of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat or a kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that's familiar because that's where you grew up. When I dig back through memory cells, I get one particularly distinctive feeling—and that's one of warmth, comfort and well-being. For whatever else I may have had, or lost, or will find—I've still got a hometown. This, nobody's gonna take away from me.

    • Rod: It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears.

    • Rod: There are weapons that are simply thoughts. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy.

    • Rod: Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.

    • Rod: Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself.

    • Rod: Seeing is not always believing.

    • Rod: I think the destiny of all men is not to sit in the rubble of their own making but to reach out for an ultimate perfection which is to be had. At the moment, it is a dream. But as of the moment we clasp hands with our neighbor, we build the first span to bridge the gap between the young and the old. At this hour, it's a wish. But we have it within our power to make it a reality. If you want to prove that God is not dead, first prove that man is alive.

    • Rod: I happen to think that the singular evil of our time is prejudice. It is from this evil that all other evils grow and multiply. In almost everything I've written there is a thread of this: a man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.

    • Rod: It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.

    • Rod: (On being born on Christmas Day, 1924) I was a Christmas present that was delivered unwrapped.

    • Rod: If you need drugs to be a good writer, you're not a good writer.

    • Rod: Hollywood's a great place to live...if you're a grapefruit.

    • Rod Serling: It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.

    • Rod Serling: I grew up in a single family household and when you decide to go to the wall on your first project you really want to go with material that you're passionate about and I think that is one of the reasons I felt so compelled to make this film.

    • Rod Serling: I kept waiting for Rod Steiger to come out of the closet because I felt like I was in The Twilight Zone.

    • Rod Serling: Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, a talent becomes a curse.

    • Rod Serling: There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on

    • Rod Serling: Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself.

    • Rod Serling: The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, ideas, predjudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, predjudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. A thoughtless, freightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all it's own for the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, is that these things can not be confined to The Twighlight Zone.

  • A Great champion of American short story fiction.

    As a lifelong fan of short story fiction, I simply must take this opportunity to pay my respects to the memory of Rod Serling. An intensely talented writer, he could make you think, break your heart or scare the bejeezus out of you depending on his frame of mind when he sat down to the keyboard to write. On both his Night Gallery and Twilight Zone series, he highlighted the talents of other masters of the short story, past and present. His collaborations with Richard Matheson are legendary, what serious fan of horror could ever forget "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", perhaps the most famous and talked about Twilight zone ever made? His absence from the world of story telling is keenly felt. There will never be another like him.moreless
  • Serling IS the Twilight Zone!

    If you ask me, Serling just didn't host and write the Twilight Zone as He WAS & IS the Twilight Zone. And that it is his beauty and show that became a hit and a classic for many generations to come. Wished that he didn't die too young. But still, he would be pleased to see others that are experiencing his work and his talent now. Even though he isn't here. Still always has and always will be a legend!moreless